A Letter From a Pain-Filled Heart to White People of America


Suppose you were told that later on in the day, you would be stopped by a white police officer for an alleged traffic violation. But before you got into your car you would have to decide to either remain white or suddenly look every bit as African-American as can be [dark skin, full lips and kinky hair]. Which of the two [and you must choose one or the other] would you choose to be? In your heart of hearts, what would be your choice? Why? Why not? But before you answer, please note that the Washington Post, in June 2016, found that blacks are 2.5 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than whites.[see also: The Guardian – Black Americans Killed by Police Twice as Likely to be Unarmed as White People]

Other data indicate that blacks are more likely to be stopped and frisked by police than whites even though they are less likely to have contraband than their white counterparts [this according to data coming out of the city of New York and other municipalities]. Each encounter with the police creates the possibility of a deadly outcome — especially for black people. Thus, I suspect, that most whites would rather be white when they encounter white police officers.

Since the advent of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, many whites [or their colorfied servile surrogates — the type Harriet Tubman would have left face down dead in the mud because they would have warned “masssa” about her plot to help other slaves run away] have responded by saying “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter”. Such a response reflects an inane line of thinking. After all, if “All Lives” really did “Matter” then the likes of Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Philander Castille, Walter Scott and too many more, would not have been victims of lethally immoral police actions. A cursory review of available government data clearly reveals that there are some lives that do not matter as much as others. To illustrate:

What if those unarmed black victims were white and the officers who killed them were black? And what if the officers were almost never indicted or if indicted, almost never convicted? How would white America react? Here is what history tells us: From 1882 to the 1960s almost 5000 blacks were lynched for crimes or alleged crimes. Many of them were either innocent of a crime or were lynched before they enjoyed due process that would have been afforded whites. The cases are well documented. [From 1882 to 1901 there were an average of 150 lynching per year; from 1924 to 1955 no more than 30 per year] The reasons for lynching ranged from sending an “indecent” note to a white girl or owning land that might have oil on it or talking back to a white man to alleged rape or murder.

That is not to say those hypothetical black police officers would be summarily taken outside, bound, mutilated, hanged and burned as were blacks for almost a hundred years but they surely would be indicted, convicted and sentenced to the maximum. KKK membership would soar and FOX news would be at the forefront of a sustained campaign to do something about “the blacks”. White America would not tolerate a string of killings of whites by black police officers. White lives matter more than any other lives in America. There is no need to form an organization called, “White Lives Matter” because everybody already knows it.

A typical response by many white people about “Black Lives Matter” is, “What about black-on-black crime?” That response lacks the weight of a cogent argument. For one, it serves to deflect from the point under discussion. The issue is the killing of black people by white people who have taken an oath to protect and to serve. The black guy who robs me has not taken such an oath. This argument is also weak in that “black on black” crime is predominantly a function of poverty and poverty among blacks has long been established to be an inextricable function of white racism which has historically and currently denied many of us access to jobs, education, healthcare, affordable housing. To deny or dismiss this connection and reality is to prefer ignorance and or the comfort of a racist’s view.

Which is why whenever I am stopped by the police, I wish I were white. If I resist arrest, or flee, or curse at them, I am very likely to not be shot or choked. Or, if I cooperate and be nice, I still will not be shot. At the very worst, the encounter may be brutal but far less likely to be lethal. Being white would have its privileges one of which would be that police would protect and serve me. If I were white my life would absolutely matter without question.

To conclude: It is easy to blame the victim and exonerate the perpetrator in the name of “they put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve.” Though not publicized as much by the media, blacks do protest and bemoan crime in their neighborhoods more often than police criticize their batch of bad cops. Too many police officers simply refuse to break ranks and stand against their “brothers in blue” who go rogue. To be sure, there are criminals in the black community and there are criminals among law enforcement. We in the black community do not try to defend those criminals, so why, all too often, do police try to defend their criminals?

In the past, whenever law enforcement investigated lynchings, if they did at all, the investigation would conclude that death was caused by “persons unknown” or “suicide.” Today, investigations often make determinations that exonerate white police officers by asserting that the officer “feared for his life.” Feared because the victim was running away, or the victim was handcuffed and on his stomach, or the victim struggled trying to breathe, or the victim tried to run him down while the car was in park, or to cite the one reason that is not spoken but applies more than any other reason, the victim was black. And how dare we be black!

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Published in: on July 9, 2016 at 10:38 PM  Comments (14)  
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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hear, hear! I feel your pain, Calespie. I’m sure their are those of the white race who also feel our pain. Sure, they feel it, but they do nothing to change the situation and the establishment does nothing as well – which is exactly why we find ourselves in the situation that we are in in this country. I do not believe that things will change. This is how it is because this is the way it has always been. Every aspect of this society is racially corrupt and it runs deep. We just aren’t aware of how deep it is. Alton Sterling and Philander Castille and others have discovered the depth of the cancer that I speak of. None of what we are seeing with police brutality is new. The thing that has changed is our collective awareness of it thanks to the ubiquitousness of video cameras and social media. These racially motivated and/or racially influenced acts are easily consumed, shared, disliked, and disliked. They will continue to happen. I wish I could offer a more options is tic assessment of the situation but I can’t. Watching Alton Sterling and Philander take their last breaths has left me feeling hopeless.

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    • Hopeless. Yes, that describes it well.

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    • Thank you for your response. This is an issue that is going to take a great deal of movement on both sides.

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  2. I am a white person. I cry for all the victims. This type of Police violence against whites by white officers would not be tolerated. I write against violence, hate speech, and racism. So do other white bloggers. I have lost friends for defending the black lives matter movement. Whites helped end slavery, helped end segregation, and will help others to know that your life matters. Cops, white and black, were on the side of protesters in Dallas. This is the best post I have read on this. Just know there are many standing with you. Don’t give up. Never give up.

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    • I appreciate your response. It is difficult not to give up but, as you stated, we must not give up. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I see that I have a few typos in my reply above. I’d like to edit those if possible.

    Nonetheless, after having watched a BBC documentary series called, Racism: A History, last week, it occurred to me that the destruction of people of color at the hands of whites has been going on for centuries. Let that sink in. Centuries! Not only has it been going on for centuries, it continues today, and it’s been happening world wide. When you put the recent events we’ve seen in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas in the context of what’s been happening for centuries in the world and in this country, you realize that these events are not aberrations, and you come to see them for what they really are – part of the ongoing and reaction to the destruction of people of color at the hands and institutions of whites.

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    • Thank you for your comments. I appreciate it. History does reveal much of what we should not forget but to learn from.

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    • So sad, but true. If only more people were informed.

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  4. Another compelling missive. Thank you, Carlespie, for all that you do to edify, clarify and uplift.

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  5. And yes, poverty, as well as the oft-forgotten (and very systematic)conditioning of black minds to devalue black life, to view black lives in relative terms, certainly accounts for “black-on-black” crime phenomenon that law enforcement invokes as deflection for their crimes against humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right my friend. Their efforts are so systematic and seamless that many of us are so easily duped.

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  6. I could not have said this better myself! I would only hope that is was read publicly, through a microphone that would amplify the profundity of your words so that all the country could hear and consider. Well done!!

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  7. You are so on point I pray you write a book soon my dear brother .✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾

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  8. Racism is very real. I am not a racist. I just want to bring new facts into this article.
    118 unarmed citizens were killed by police in 2015 (white, black, etc.). 123 innocent cops were killed by civilians in 2015. (FBI murder statistics 2015)
    Now, there are about 330 million US citizens and 900,000 cops in The US. Statistically cops are 18 times more likely to be killed by the people they are protecting, then they are to kill a citizen. (FBI murder statistics 2015)
    Yes it is not right that’s cops are killing unarmed people, but as American citizens I don’t believe we really have a say. Considering they are 18 more likely to be killed then us.
    To simplify what I am about to say, Everyone kills everyone. No matter your color or if you have a badge. Whites are killed by cops more then blacks are. Also blacks kill more of blacks then any other race. Whites kill more then any other race (probably because of majority).
    To be clear this is not my opinion (so I can not be viewed as racist) this is statistics from the FBI in 2015.
    Race is the division of people. To view me as a privileged white person is dividing me. Things like “black lives matter” makes many of all races feel left out; which creates a division. I know that is not what was meant to happen, but if we look at what’s going on we can see racism becoming strong because of groups and their horrible media exposure.

    Again, I want to see an end to the longest running problem in American history. I don’t believe we are all really equal. I just thought a different prospective could create new thoughts and ideas.
    Sorry to offend anyone, I am intitled to my opinion as long as you are.

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